n.a technique for appraising and processing materials based on the relative importance of the activities performed within an organizationSamuels 1992, 6Appraisal techniques must include the analysis of the functions of an institution no matter where they occur—within the organization or outside. ¶ By applying functional analysis at the institutional level, the study aims to avoid the problems of shifting structures while also broadening the analysis to examine how functions are carried out within and outside of official administrative structures. Such an analysis leads to an understanding of the multiple actors whose activities need to be documented.Craig 1993, 242In this new archives scenario, documents now are considered only in relationship to their contribution to a picture of the institution as described in the functional analysis.Greene 2009, 6Functional analysis . . . argues that records be appraised only after the functions of an institution are defined and understood. Record appraisal then becomes a matter of identifying or creating records which best document the institution’s functions. Because it is institutionally based, functional analysis implicitly shuns any prioritization among similar institutions, and suggests that there is a universal and objective set of records which comprise “adequate” documentation of each and every example of a particular type of institution.Robyns and Woolman 2011, 244A function-based approach to archival work is hardly new to archivists. Canadian government archivists, for example, have successfully applied macro-appraisal since the mid-1990s. Yet functional analysis hasn’t really caught on in the United States, especially in Samuels’s area of higher education.Hughes 2014, 283However, I argue that Samuels’s turn to functional analysis does not find a satisfactory solution to her concern. The top-down nature of functional analysis—and by association, macro-appraisal—assumes that individual records creators are relevant to the appraisal process insomuch as they are vessels that carry out an institution’s key aims and functions.Galloway 2015, 588Readers of The American Archivist will remember that he [Marcus C. Robyns] and Jason Woolman described this process in a 2011 article that outlines both the use of functional analysis as an appraisal method in a small archives and a suggestion of its use for arrangement as well.